What lies within???

What lies within???

Back to writing about what I know best…fast food. And this might not even be the last post about it this week…

McDonald’s Mega Teriyaki, the latest gross-out item to adorn the menu, conceals a few secrets worth revealing right away. For one, it isn’t technically a new item – a Google search turns up the news it actually existed in 2007, and is just getting a reissue of sort now. Second, and more pressing, is what actually constitutes a Mega Teriyaki. This ad, which might be old but still basically reflects how this thing is being hyped up at the moment, portrays it as a Big Mac slathered in the titular sauce. Squint and you can see a white sauce, which one would smartly assume as mayonnaise.

Save for the mayonnaise bit, you’d be wrong.

Tell-tale sign number one – it doesn’t come in the familiar Big Mac box, but rather gets fenced around a rather awkward paper barrier. Remove the barrier and look closely and it quickly becomes clear – that isn’t beef. It’s the same sausage-like “meat” used in breakfast staples like the Egg McMuffin or (my personal favorite when I feel no respect for myself) the McGriddle. The same sausage-like substance…covered in teriyaki sauce.

What does it taste like? Well, like teriyaki. A lot of teriyaki. No other flavor manages to wriggle out of this doused mess…sort of a mixed blessing considering it also neutralizes the mayo, but also everything else. Which would be OK if it weren’t such a messy creature. This thing slides around all over the place, dislocating bits of lettuce and threatening to send the sausage-pork-whatever patty flying out. A tricky dinner.

Yet, despite being deeply sloppy, somehow all that teriyaki sauce manages to stay on the the burger! The physics of McDonald’s creeps me out.

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Strange Place To Be

April 10, 2011

One month has passed since the devastating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and after initial confusion turned to gut-wrenching realization turned to immense sadness turned to even greater, media-induced confusion turned to frantic pleas from relatives to come home turned to “well, at least by some iodine pills” turned to an accepted confusion regarding the workings of nuclear power plants turned to trying to donate whatever spare change one has on their personage when leaving a convenience store, life where I live finally resembles…the same as it ever did. Despite seeing the most significant event in Japanese history since World War II unfold a scant 500 miles away, life in the Kansai region of the country looks just the same now as it did minutes before the initial quake struck.

Of course, things have changed. Donation boxes exist in every store, school and train station around my city. Japanese unity has gotten a big boost, resembling America after 9/11 save for the fact it seems many Japanese people have rallied around the flag despite not trusting a word coming out of the government. Cherry blossom viewing parties have been canceled because, as an older friend explained to me, the Japanese unaffected by these events don’t want to go around having fun while so many up north suffer. Commercials have taken on a sympathetic edge. I’ve read some people are trying to buy Geiger counters off sketchy Russian websites.

Yet for the most part everything seems normal in Nabari. It’s disconcerting to watch videos of waves destroying entire cities and reading stories about the challenges the survivors face before going about your day, especially during the first week when e-mails and Facebook wall postings from people I’ve failed to talk with in years poured in wondering if I was OK. If only I could live broadcast my day, a trip to the gym followed by clothes shopping capped off with a viewing of Jersey Shore. Though even that wouldn’t project just how strange it is to be doing said activities before remembering what’s happened again.

It’s this perpetual normalcy that has stopped me from writing about this event thus far, as I honestly have absolutely nothing to say about it because frankly, I’m lucky as hell. The day everything happened, my train home from work was delayed five minutes. After staring at the footage for five hours, I tried distracting myself by going to the supermarket. My nearby Jusco seemed as normal as it usual does at 8 p.m. on a Friday. No adverse effects, thankfully. The only thing I can really write about what’s happened in Tohoku is the same thing nearly everyone I’ve talked to around town agrees on – it’s weird to be so near yet so far.

I’m not going to even try to make any sweeping generalizations about what any of this stuff means for Japan’s future or some life-affirming message best suited for the “inspirational literature,” all I can really muster is “this is immensely sad and still sorta hard to fathom” and “my life in Mie has barely been altered.” That and it helps put things in perspective while I’m currently debating what to do with my future, a topic that sometimes gets the best of me and causes me to not go to bed until way too late (one such instance of this resulted in this semi-meandering post, written ten minutes before midnight while I try not to get too down about inevitable disappointment while this plays on loop, because it oddly comforts me). So this exists to simply state…my life remains the same, though you think it shouldn’t be so static considering what you see on the news